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South Carolina from A to Z
South Carolina from A to Z
Mon-Fri, 05:30 a.m.

Historian and author Walter Edgar mines the riches of the South Carolina Encyclopedia to bring you South Carolina from A to Z. Produced by South Carolina Public Radio.

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  • “W” is for Walterboro (Colleton County; population 5364). Just after the Revolutionary War, rice planters from the Edisto, Combahee, and Ashepoo Ricers, tired of an annual summer jaunt of fifty miles to Charleston, created an alternate refuge from the malarial swamps closer to home. By the 1790s, among local forests and freshwater springs, they built a village that they called Walterboro. Profits from rice and indigo produced by enslaved black labor brought prosperity. In 1817 the town became the seat of Colleton District. An elegant brick courthouse designed by Robert Mills was complete in 1822. Four years later the town was incorporated. In 1828, Robert Barnwell Rhett launched the nullification movement at the Walterboro Courthouse. Throughout the antebellum period in the years preceding the Civil War, Walterboro was a hotbed of states’ rights sentiment.
  • “U” is for United Methodist Church. The United Methodist Church (UMC) was formed in 1968 by the union of the former Evangelical United Brethren Church (EUB) and the Methodist Church. There were no EUB churches in the state, but after the unification of the Methodist Church in 1939, black Methodists from the South Carolina Conference of the former Methodist Episcopal Church were members of the all-black Central Jurisdiction and white Methodists from the former South Carolina Conference of the former Methodist Episcopal Church, South, were members of the all-white Southeastern Jurisdiction. In 1964 the General Conference of the Methodist Church set the goal of a racially inclusive United Methodist Church. However, it was not until 1972 that the first meeting of a merged conference of the United Methodist Church in South Carolina was convened.
  • “T” is for Taylor, John (1770-1832). Congressman, governor, U.S. senator. Born near Granby, Taylor graduated from Princeton in 1788. Later he read law in Charleston and established a practice in Columbia. In 1793 he was elected to the first of six terms in the South Carolina House of Representatives. Taylor later served in the U.S. House of Representatives (1807-1810) and the U.S. Senate (1810-1816). A Democratic-Republican, he became a key player in congressional efforts to make economic sanctions an effective deterrent against British and French violations of American neutral trading rights. From 1818-1825 he was a member of the state senate and in 1826 elected governor. As governor, John Taylor used his position to rally opposition against Congress, whose continued sanctions of protective tariffs and internal improvements he denounced as unconstitutional and inequitable.
  • “S” is for St. James Goose Creek Parish. A long rectangle extending northwestward from the Cooper River through modern Charleston, Berkeley, and Orangeburg Counties, St. James Goose Creek was one of the ten original parishes created by the Church Act of 1706. By 1672 a group of settlers from Barbados had settled with their enslaved property on Goose Creek, a meandering tributary of the Cooper River. The “Goose Creek Men” were experienced colonists and accomplished planters and they quickly came to dominate the colony both politically and economically. Colonial Goose Creek was the most prosperous and populous community outside Charleston, attributes that are reflected in its ornate parish church that was completed in 1719. With the abolition of the parish system in 1865, St. James Goose Creek Parish became a part of Berkeley County.
  • “R” is for Rash, Ron (b. 1953). Poet, novelist. A native of Chester, Rash graduated from Gardner-Webb College and received an M.A. in English from Clemson. Since 2003, he has been the Parris Distinguished Professor in Appalachian Cultural Studies at Western Carolina University. Rash’s family has lived in the southern Appalachian Mountains since the 1700s. His fiction and poetry about the people of Appalachia and the mill towns are filled with gentle humor, family strife, and economic problems. Although the people in his work are beset by drought, floods, and layoffs, Rash focuses on their enduring and universal qualities. He tells of their everyday joys and sorrows, of their disappointed religious yearnings, of their strengths, weakness, and foibles. In addition to his poetry and novels, Ron Rash has achieved international acclaim for his short stories.
  • “P” is for Palmetto Building (Columbia). When completed in 1913, the Palmetto Building in Columbia was the tallest building in the Carolinas and one of the most stylish skyscrapers in the South. Designed by the New York architect Julius Harder for the Palmetto National Bank, the structure is fifteen stories tall and built of steel-frame construction on a U-shaped plan. The limestone base and glazed terra cotta facades feature Gothic-revival styling, foliated pilasters and entablatures, and a specially designed palmetto tree motif. The building culminates in a crown composed of Gothic arches, a handsome copper cornice, and a stone parapet. The elaborately decorated ground-floor banking room features a mosaic tile floor with a palmetto tree inlay. One of Columbia’s most recognizable landmarks, the Palmetto Building was listed in the National Register of Historic Places in 1980.
  • “O” is for Old Iron District. In the vicinity of the Broad River near the northern border of South Carolina, there are significant deposits of magnetite and specular oxide iron ore, as well as some lesser belts of hematite. Early colonists took advantage of these resources and began to produce iron before the Revolutionary War. By 1860 there were eight furnaces in operation in the state. Production declined after the Civil War due to competition from anthracite furnaces operating in other parts of the nation produced iron at lower cost that the charcoal iron produced in South Carolina. By the end of the nineteenth century, the industry had disappeared from the state. Cherokee County—centered in the middle of the once-prosperous iron industry in South Carolina is sometimes referred to as the Old Iron District.
  • “N” is for Naval Stores
  • “M” is for Maham, Hezekiah (1739-1789)
  • “L” is for Lancaster
  • “K” is for Keyserling, Leon Hirsch (1908-1987)
  • “J” is for James, John (1732-1791)